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Breast Cancer Survivor Cindy Canevari Fights Cancer with Athletic Energy


Cindy Canevari working out for her first Making Strides 5K run with trainer Doug Lawson.

At age 56, two-time cancer survivor Cindy Canevari is enthusiastically training to run her first 5K—the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Kent and Sussex Counties on October 20.

Not unlike her cancer battle, Cindy is diving into the challenge with all she’s got.   After beating both breast and bladder cancer, “I became a jock at age 55,” she jokes.

Not only does she attend Results by Doug boot camp, but Cindy has become friends with many of the participants, known as “Fitness Family,” who have volunteered to run in the 5K as well. Ocean Medical Imaging of Delaware in Milton, owned by Dr. Jon Patterson and his wife Kristin, is the team sponsor. 

“I’m going to dedicate my first 5K to all the cancer patients in Delaware,” says Cindy, who is also the Delaware State Lead Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “If the universe, God, or whatever decided someone had to get this disease, I guess it had to be me because I will represent those who get cancer and advocate to fight back against this disease,” says Cindy.  In her lead ambassador volunteer role, she travels, speaks, and educates to encourage legislation to fund research and screening programs.

Diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer in 2005 and treated with chemotherapy, she wrote articles about her cancer journey in the local Milford Beacon newspaper. “The chairperson of the Milford Relay For Life read the articles and contacted me to be a speaker at Relay.”  Cindy had never heard of Relay For Life, but once she attended, she was hooked on Relay and the American Cancer Society.

In 2007 she was diagnosed with bladder cancer and had three tumors removed.   Following her recovery, Cindy, a physical therapy assistant at Beebe Medical Center, became proactive about her health. “Research shows that diet and exercise play an important part in preventing recurrence and beating disease. That’s the only thing I can really control— diet, exercise and weight.” She began training and lost 22 pounds.

Exercise is also good for the side effects of Cindy’s cancer treatment. “I’m on a medication that decreases the chances of my cancer hooking up with estrogen and recurring, but it’s affected my calcium density. I have osteopenia.” Cindy’s workout regimen is not only good for her bones, but also helps strengthen her body and spirit in the fight against cancer. 

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